Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Acts of God and Retribution in Haiti

U.S. funds finally headed to Haiti, 10 months after earthquake
Photo: The Associated Press
The American media is playing fast and loose with the facts. They are painting a misleading picture of the situation in Haiti. CBS New's 60 Minutes did a piece this past Sunday which is representative of the propaganda; as was a recent piece by a pool reporter named Steve Tuttle at Newsweek (more about that at Mediahacker).

The 60 Minutes piece was peppered with outright lies and was titled, "Haiti: Frustration and Anger."

The "anger and frustration" of the Haitian people, 1.5 million of whom are still living in filthy, unsanitary, unsafe camps, battered by the elements and forced to face more earthquake, hurricane and tropical storm hazards? The piece features contact with a Haitian family living on a highway medium in Carrefour. It highlights an American doctor, David Walton who has worked with Partners in Health for 13 years. 60 Minutes also interviews former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton says he "loves the place" and he "doesn't want anybody to die because of the floods," describing the earthquake a "natural disaster that hit the country in a highly impacted dense urban area, now it's covered with rubble which has to be cleared as you do the rebuilding, housing always takes the longest."

The piece does not bother to tackle any tough questions. Here are a couple of questions for 60 Minutes:
  • Why hasn't Haiti had cholera in almost 60 years?
    This is a surprising fact, in light of the fact that the Bush administration, for political reasons had the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) withhold loans targeted for water infrastructure improvements in the very area where the cholera outbreak started and is spreading from rapidly.
      A corollary to that question: Why did the IDB make the Aristide government pay interest on loans his government never received?

    *The political reason the U.S. withheld loans: To oust the democratically elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

  • Why does the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) think the cholera is a strain imported from South Asia?

  • Why does a Harvard cholera expert, John Mekalanos, think that is is important to know the origin of the cholera strain. Mekalanos says the virulent strain is imported from South Asia.

"John Mekalanos, a cholera expert and chairman of Harvard University's microbiology department, said it is important to know exactly where and how the disease emerged because it is a novel, virulent strain previously unknown in the Western Hemisphere - and public health officials need to know how it spreads."

  • 60 Minutes, how did the trash you filmed in the city cause the cholera in the countryside?

  • Why didn't 60 Minutes use Google to learn that Bill and Hillary Clinton actually spent their honeymoon in Mexico -- Acapulco, not Haiti. The Clintons had returned from their honeymoon, and visited Haiti a week later. Bill Clinton says so on page 235 of his memoir "My Life."

  • Why didn't 60 Minutes ask Mr. Clinton why his wife is blocking aid money to Haiti? She said back in March that Haiti was no more corrupt than any other developing country. Secretary Clinton also stated that she "sent a lot of experts from government agencies here in the U.S." to "work closely" with the Preval government prior to the January quake.

  • What's changed since to make the U.S. government put a hold on the aid it pledged in March? Don't they care that most of the victims of the January earthquake are living in intolerable misery?

"As if Haitians living in tents and under scraps of plastic don't have enough to grapple with as a tropical storm bears down and cholera spreads, the U.S. Congress has put up another obstacle to delivering the $1.15 billion in reconstruction money it promised back in March.

The State Department still has to prove the money won't be stolen or misused — not an easy task in a country notorious for corruption.

"Given the weak governmental institutions that existed in Haiti even before the earthquake, Congress wants to be sure we have that accountability in place before these funds are obligated," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told The Associated Press."

The cholera epidemic, UN military occupation and U.S. controlled Haitian government are crippling Haiti's ability to recover from consecutive disasters.
There's a reason why the Haitian government must tread lightly in declaring the cholera epidemic an imported disease (Dr. Alex Larsen, Head of the Haitian Ministry of Health announced that the disease is imported, but did not name the UN's Nepalese base specifically as the source of the contamination).

The Haitian government is submissive to the UN occupiers. MINUSTAH has their boots on the figurative neck of the Haitian population, much the same as the Haitian military did. The internationals believe and authorities in Haiti have vocalized that the tanks and guns of the UN make them the owners of Haiti.

Ward at St. Nicholas Hospital
Photo: Georgianne Nienaber
Sources close to the political situation in Haiti say that Preval was hand picked by the Bush administration – probably because they were assured of his compliance to their neoliberal measures. This has been proven true in Preval's actions since taking office as he presided over the privatization of most government owned services. Preval used his veto power to rebuff a modest raise of the minimum wage – which is USD $3.049 a day or about 38 cents an hour for an 8 hour day as of February 24, 2010.

The majority of the Haitian Parliament is made up of officials who were part of the U.S. installed puppet government of (U.S. citizen from Boca Raton, Florida) Gerard LaTortue. Wyclef Jean's uncle Raymond Joseph was one such Haitian official fronting for Bush in Haiti. Preval did not make any changes to the parliament's makeup when he assumed the Haitian presidency.

The Haitian diaspora and Haitians suffering in the camps are fed up with the Preval government and they want change. They blame the Haitian government's "incompetence" and "lack of compassion" for the desperate situation on the ground. However, Haitians should be aware, as outlined above, that the weak Haitian government in place now wasn't chosen to represent Haitians. It was chosen to represent the interests of the international community. A weak Haitian government suits the corporatist agenda just fine.

The Haitian government is just a pawn used to break the will of the Haitian people. The Haitian population has demonstrated for and died in great numbers since the first U.S. sponsored coup in 1991 to support of a real democracy in Haiti. Democracies in developing countries is anathema to the neoliberal agenda of the corporatist elite that run the G-20 major economies of the world.

The Obama administration's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is of two minds about the "corruption" in Haiti. Sometimes she thinks that it doesn't represent a substantial obstacle ("We see that all over the world. It is not, by any means, unique to Haiti. I have seen it in every setting and on every continent that I have visited."), other times her State Department is so concerned about the aid money being "stolen" and "misused" that they must put a hold on it.

Truth be told, the State Department is not very concerned about Haitians and their plight. What really matters is whether the U.S. will get the bang for the bucks that they and their allies, particularly France and Canada, have invested in the November 28 "selections" in Haiti. The U.S. alone has 10 million in the pot.

Finally, after over ten months of waiting for aid money, the government of Haiti, to its credit has sought aid from Europe. It's a long shot since Secretary Clinton has in no uncertain terms asked U.S. allies to withhold funds from Haiti.

"The Secretary of State told the U.N. conference in March that if the effort to rebuild was "slow or insufficient, if it is marked by conflict, lack of coordination or lack of transparency, then the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt with regional and global consequences."

Nearly all the countries present at that conference have been slow in delivering on their promises since."

In a recent development, AP's Jonathan Katz reports that more than ten months after the quake, the U.S. State Department has finally released $120 million in aid for rubble removal, housing, education and Haitian government budget support.

Haitians are too quick to hand the U.S., France, Canada and their allies more ammunition to continue to keep Haiti subservient by joining in on the chorus that blames the Haitian government alone for the worsening catastrophe in Haiti.

It was the international community and their proxy, the UN which brought this cholera plague to Haiti. It was the U.S. which left Haiti vulnerable by pressuring the IDB to withhold loans that were targeted for improving the water infrastructure in Haiti. They worked with the morally bankrupt private sector run by Haiti's mafia families and renegade military to oust the democratically elected government of Aristide, twice! It was they, who forced neoliberal policies down Haiti's throat which has continuously kept Haiti in debt and dependency and lead to Haiti's inability to feed its people and the loss of over 300,000 jobs for subsistence farmers... forcing many of them to immigrate to the crowded capital of Port-au-Prince where they perished in the devastating earthquake.

Haiti is unofficially a "protectorate," of the U.S. and the "NGO nation" the U.S. has created since the orchestration of two coups that ousted Haiti's democratically elected government. The Haitian government has very little authority. Most social services are provided by the Non-governmental agencies (NGO), who grow more and more arrogant and dismissive of the Haitian government every day.

If Haiti's government was stronger (and had more support from Haitians), maybe they would be empowered to hold free and fair elections where every party is allowed to participate, including the majority party, Lavalas. This could be a way to keep Haiti from being made an official "protectorate" of the U.S. Of course, that is not the only way.

Haiti's government cannot continue to be weakened... supporting the government could be a way to force the UN to get out of Haiti at the end of their current "mandate." It was a certainty on October 15 this year that the U.S. run Security Council would renew the occupation.

We cannot continue to give the U.S. the excuse it seeks to make Haiti a protectorate.

If and when that (officially) happens, the U.S. (and their allies) will probably release all the aid funds they've been withholding. The bad guys would have won because they will have broken the will of a population which seeks to be free. Haitians want a real democracy. They do not want the current system where a tiny minority of greedy families own 80% of the country's wealth and resources, refusing to allow the population to have a chance to have a dream for equality, justice and a chance for advancement in a free society, where one man, one vote makes for a real democracy. It is corrupt, inhumane and evil U.S. foreign policy which is keeping that dream deferred for all Haitians.

The plan for Haiti (as often vocalized by ex-president Bill Clinton, head of the IHRC and his wife Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) is to continue on the path of making Haiti into a heaven for corporations who will supply low-wage sweatshop menial jobs that offer no chance for workers to build a future, and to make Haiti an island "vacation paradise."

What about Haitians? Where is their paradise? This is their country. Haitians want more for their children. They want more for their country.

The Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) is unconstitutional. The Haitian parliament should not have subverted the will of the Haitian people by approving its formation. The makeup of the Commission is illegal, because foreigners cannot govern in Haiti.

In the final analysis, the real sin of Haiti was that they were the first ever successful slave rebellion. They established the first free country in this hemisphere. Haitians conquered the white supremacists and are this hemisphere's first black republic.

Will Haitians ever stop paying for being the victors over the white supremacists?


Anonymous said...

BBC, Aljazeera and other media outlets are reporting that the international response to the cholera epidemic is inadequate and short of funding: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/11/2010112005720398357.html

Meanwhile, the permanent members of the UN Security Council are claiming that the unrest is preventing them from reaching those dying of the disease, however, elections/selection will go on despite the cholera epidemic and the unrest.

This is premeditated. First the imperialist powers (US, France, Canada and their allies) block loans needed to improve water access and sanitation in order to destabilize a government who they perceive to be unfriendly to their interests. Next they bring foreign troops to occupy Haiti from countries where cholera is endemic. Immediately after the earthquake, they publicly acknowledged that the population was susceptible to cholera. Then while Nepal was going thru an outbreak of cholera in October, the permanent member of the security council, US, France..., dispatched fresh troops from Nepal to the Artibonite region of Haiti. Shortly after the Nepalese troops arrived, cholera epidemic broke out in the Artibonite then spreads rapidly to the rest of the country. It was discovered sanitation at the Nepalese base was sub par and a broken pipe was leaking raw sewage in Haiti's rivers

What has been their response? refusal to adequately provide the resources needed to combat the epidemy while at the same time using the mainstream media to shape public opinions against the victims.


Faced with this life and death situation, the Haitian people have no choice but to take to the streets.

Anonymous said...

It is also ironic that when it comes to funding elections/selection, the imperialists powers are never concerned about corruption. The money is disbursed without hesitation and corruption is not a concern to them.

Last I check, the world bank is the one in charge of administering reconstruction money and the IHRC also known by its French acronym CIRH, vote on how the money is spent. The CIRH with Bill Clinton as his chair, is controlled by nations who pledged to financially contribute to the reconstruction.

They are banking on the public ignorance, short memory and attention span to continue with their deadly policies against the Haitian people.

WhatTheF*ck! said...


Though the health infrastructure of Haiti is desperately inadequate, facilities do exist and many are being underused due to cholera victims’ inability to pay for transport. One of the cluster participants asks why the MINUSTAH can’t mobilize their abundant reserve of vehicles to provide emergency transportation throughout the country. All present agree that the military and police “peacekeeping” body has the foremost logistical capacity in Haiti, and Ben Majekodunmi from the MINUSTAH Human Rights section says that this proposal is under consideration. However, as he reminds those present, MINUSTAH is responsible for elections logistics and security and, as a result, is fully mobilized for the time being. Meanwhile, the American Red Cross, we are told, is providing vehicles for the dead.
We also learn that the elections are expected to lead to a spike in the number of cholera cases as a result of the movement and congregation of voters, and the peak in the progress of the epidemic is currently expected to occur the third week of December, though it is not clear what data and algorithms this information is based on.
After the cluster meeting we have a brief conversation with Ben Majekodunmi of MINUSTAH. Ben tells us that MINUSTAH is planning on having troops distribute anti-cholera kits (mainly water purification tablets and soap) in voting centers. This, he thinks, may not only be an effective measure in terms of slowing down the spread of the disease but could also increase voter participation. Though apparently no publicity has yet been given to the measure.

thezenhaitian said...

"... why the MINUSTAH can’t mobilize their abundant reserve of vehicles to provide emergency transportation throughout the country."

That is sickening. The UN is only helping the population on condition that they participate in they're sham elections. What cynical, base humans run this organization!

"Meanwhile, the American Red Cross, we are told, is providing vehicles for the dead."

This is outrageous... why can't the the Red Cross help the people who are still living to get the care they need by giving them a ride???

What do you say about an organization of the Red Cross' reputation and size, that it says on it's website that it is supplying the camps with "purified water," yet Al Jazeera interviewed the Red Cross head and he says that it is too "difficult" for the Red Cross to provide clean/purified water.. that the IDPs have to either boil it or buy it.

If the Red Cross is providing "education" to the camps about hygiene and health, telling the people to boil the water is a major priority one would think!

Red Cross website:

"The Red Cross network has also been distributing 660,000 gallons of purified water across Port-au-Prince every day for months."

But on the ground in Haiti:
"This water is not potable at all, it gives us infections."

If cholera takes hold here, access to drinking water will be the most important safeguard against the acute dehydration that has already killed so many.

But the Red Cross says it won't be from the supplies they deliver.

Ricardo Caivano, Country Director
"Our recommendation is to always boil the water if you can. Or to buy the drinking water if they can that is sold. "

Sebastien Walker, Al Jazeera
"That's not possible for a lot of people, Sir.

RC: "Almost impossible, yes."

SW: "Why is it not possible to supply drinking water?"

RC: "It's difficult. It's not impossible, it's difficult."

Anonymous said...

After having contaminated Haiti's rivers and oceans with the cholera bacteria, the least Nigel Fisher, Vincenzo Pugliese, Ben Majekodunmi and the rest of the cabal at the UN, MINUSTAH could do would be to use their abundant reserve of vehicles to ferry those in needs to nearby cholera centers

Oops i forgot they are not ordinary criminals. They are PSYCHOPATHS!!!

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